Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Portrait of the Week - Seeing Double Redux

Dearest Friends,
There was so much story surrounding our two portraits last week, that we really didn't take much time to examine the details of these paintings. So this week, let's revisit our two lovely ladies -- The woman in gold being Mary Lathrop and the woman in blue either Susannah Botencou or Sister Botencou Lathrop

On closer examination, we can see that the artist didn't merely switch heads and gown colors, there are subtle differences -- and if you look close enough, you can play a round of "one of these things is not like the other".  For example, one woman wears an apron, one is thinner, one sleeve flounce turns up, one holds a fan, etc., However, lets look specifically at the clothing elements.

Notice, that even though these paintings are folk art in genre, the artist was still was accomplished enough to show us things like how the fabric fits to the body.  There are ripples in the silk around the sleeve and on the robings, illustrating that the fabric did not necessarily fit the wearer like it was sprayed on, giving us a hint as to how our gowns might fit.

Though the specific item I'd like to bring your attention to, is the piece around her shoulders that looks very similar to one worn in one of our pervious portraits.  Is this a lace tippet? is it a kind of handkerchief? mantle?  Don't know, but it's really pretty and fits around her shoulders in a very flattering manner with its box pleats shaping it so nicely.  Let's keep an eye out for another.  Have any of our readers seen another example? And any thoughts as to what it might be called?

Just another question from two portraits surrounded in questions!

Mrs. S

1 comment:

  1. Is that giant bow holding her necklace, or the lace? I assume necklace, and that is one way to keep it still! I find that a silk ribbon stays behind the neck so much better than clasps, that when I put one, temporarily, on my pearls for reenacting wear, I never swapped it put, and I use the bow for modern wear, too!

    Am I odd for preferring a bow in back, to a clasp that keeps traveling to the front?